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Saturday, February 10, 2007

dear hip tranquil chick . . .

Q: I have got to ask you about time management. I remember you did a program a while ago but it just skimmed the surface of my issues. So, it seems like you have so many things going on in your life. How do you keep things straight? How do you prioritize your to dos? What does it look like for you? Do you use to do lists on paper or palm? Do you list your personal and work related things together? Do you have an online calander that reminds you what is coming up or what tasks you have? I have my own small biz that I am starting plus a part time office job, plus 2 kids and a dog. I keep lists of to -dos but to be honest, it seems like I end up consulting these things less and remember things in my head. When I come up with ideas or things to do, I am not sure where to add them. I have a palm that I synch with my outlook but find I am not always in front of my computer. What are your tricks? Do you operate from day to day on an organic level or are you strict with your schedule? I love the idea of scheduling me time - and my husband gives me Sat morns off to do my own thing.

A: this is such a valuable question and definitely podcast worthy, too! i'll put together a podcast on this issue as i know many hip tranquil chick's wonder the same things. i'm a paper girl and a huge proponent of planner pads. i categorize my four businesses at the top of the week and write out to-dos. on the right side of the pad i have a list for personal (ex. reline winter coat, organize finances in quicken) and names of people i have meetings scheduled with and an outline of discussion points. under the to-dos are priorities for each day, and under to-dos are appointments. this 3-tier system created by planner pad (i sound like a sales person for them but i promise i'm not - just in love with how it has organized my crazy life) allows me to see my entire week at a glance. i carry over the many to-dos that aren't captured one week into the next every sunday evening. at that time i reflect on the week ahead, have a good snapshot of what it will look like, schedule in yoga classes to take (if they aren't regular weekly ones that are staples on the calendar), and try to carve out some blank space.

after weekends of travel, the following week (such as this past one) doesn't allow for much blank space so i try to ensure the following week does. i plan far in advance by signing up for workshops, retreats, classes, etc. as soon as i hear about them. my next free weekend is mid-june and i've just set up a 3-generation with reunion with my mom and gramma. having things like this on my calendar helps me stay focused. i also have a pad of post-its by my bed to capture those early morning or late night thoughts/ideas and carry around a small pink notebook with me at all times to do the same.

i'm not organic unless i have a bit of blank space in my calender (like this morning - i wrote in my journal, e-mailed, planned next week, showered, and ate breakfast all at my own pace over 2.5 hours). otherwise i'm quite regimented due to classes to teach, meetings to attend, and phone calls to take. for example, yesterday i left the pink palace at 10:30 to volunteer and returned home at 9:30 after a full day of teaching, meetings, calls, podcasting, business lunch, etc.

the key is to create a system that works for you. you don't need to invest in an expensive product. reading about the topic, taking a workshop on organizing/prioritizng/time management is a great idea, asking for suggestions from friends and mentors who have a lot on their plates, and implementing new systems slowly are the best ways to get it all together. having all the data in one place helps keep me on my toes. other suggestions, hip tranquil chicks?

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Anonymous said...

My life is not quite so hectic. I have a check-book sized calendar that shows an entire month on one page. This is great for me because I frequently plan things far, far in advance and then forget about them. This way I can see it all clearly. The downside is that space is very limited. I usually keep specific details in my head (which can be dangerous!) or in a sketch-pad that goes everywhere with me.

Anonymous said...

A site called See Jane Work, has great pretty supplies for organization-- I am so excited about these-- SCENTED File Folders!! And they even offer Lavender! A real must have!!